If you want to be a writer, know that you aren’t the only person who has that dream. While you may be working on developing your talent, there’s plenty of other people who have a passion for storytelling and an eye for grammar.
However, you shouldn’t view these individuals as your competition to get published; in fact, people who share your hobby will most likely be your greatest asset! Here’s five reasons why you should share your writing with other like-minded people.
1. You’re probably not the best
Let’s face it, most people need to work on perfecting their writing skills (oftentimes for months or years) before they’re considered an expert; however, this can be said for any profession. You should learn from those who know more because they’ll give helpful tips on where you can improve. There’s always someone who understands sentence structure, world building, character arcs, and paragraph flow better than you, so take advantage of peer critiques when you can.
2. Someone Else Can Catch your errors
Most of us can iron out grammar and perfect character development if we put the time in. Yet there’s plenty of tense shifts, wonky sentences, missed words, and incorrect grammar that you might naturally skip over when proofreading. Let someone else catch your errors so you have the best chance at publication.
3. You can test if your plot twists work
When you allow someone to read your work, you can see how they naturally react to your manuscript. Did they see a certain twist coming? Do they agree that your arcs have a clear beginning, middle, and end? Are your characters too one-dimensional or have too much going on? A fellow writer can tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
Another reason you’ll want to test your plot twists is it can give you an idea of what a literary agent might be thinking when they read your writing. You always want to present the best version of whatever you’ve written, so let someone else be the judge before you submit!
4. They can tell you when things sound weird
Maybe that adjective doesn’t come across as strong as you’d like, or perhaps someone thinks a sentence means something when you intended something else. Allowing someone else to critique your work can help you discover what emotions and stories come across on the page.
Once you identify what sentences can be improved upon, open up a dictionary and start improving your word choice. You should also think about rearranging odd sentences to make your paragraphs flow better.
5. You get exposure to other people’s writing
Sharing your writing with others exposes you to new styles and topics. You’ll see how other people develop their characters and how they’re pacing their works. Reading other people’s works can also help you figure out what nuances you like and don’t, and then you can apply those kinds of critiques back to your writing.